February 1, 2018
Throughout our lives, tragic events happen in the world such as 9/11 to the Columbine shooting. At the beginning of this year, another tragedy happened in Perris, California.On Sunday January 14th, 2018, thirteen siblings were found shackled and malnourished in their house of horrors. A 17 year old girl had escaped that morning for the first time in her life through a window and had called the police with a deactivated cell phone she had found in the home. There were twelve other siblings found in the home by police that had all looked like they had never seen the sun and had never eaten.
The parents of the 13 children were David Allen Turpin 56, and Louise Anna Turpin 49, who were arrested immediately and have continued to tell investigators that they have done nothing wrong and that the charges against them are not true, said the Washington Post. They are being charged with twelve counts of torture, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect, and twelve counts of false imprisonment. David Turpin is also being charged with one count of a lewd act (sexual assault) on one of the teenage daughters by force, fear, or duress. If convicted, they will spend 94 years to life in prison. A nine million dollar bail is set for each of the parents, but is wanted to go up to thirteen million dollars, one million dollars for each sibling, said Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin.
It was discovered that seven of the siblings were actually adults and that all the siblings ranged in age from 2 to 29,.They were only allowed to eat one meal a day of very little and shower once or twice a year.They were never allowed to go to school and lacked basic knowledge such as what a police officer was and what pills were,. Staying up all night and sleeping all day was a part of their daily routine, which would make adjusting to life outside in the world difficult.
Being punished was also a daily occurrence even for the little things, like washing their hands above the wrist. Being beaten and strangled was what was normally done to the siblings, which doctors have discovered have caused them to have cognitive impairment and nerve damage that they have been suffering with for years. Torture was also a part of their lives when their parents would buy desserts and leave it out and the children weren’t allowed to eat it, therefore psychologically abusing them. All the children are currently being treated and taken care of in hospitals in the area.
It has been discovered that there were hundreds of journals that they could write in which will help investigators and the world know all the horrible and heartbreaking things that was going on behind the Turpin’s closed doors. Through statements from the neighbors, investigators found out that they would rarely see the kids and they didn’t even really know how many kids the Turpin’s had. One neighbor named Mike stated that he would sometimes see the children marching around on the second story all night long and never told anyone, saying it didn’t seem to raise any suspicion with him, an unbelievable fact to anyone who heard this comment. “I thought they were like a cult…and they spoke robotically, in monotone and at the same time,” Mike said.
No one suspected a thing because of how average the family seemed when they went on trips to Disneyland, Las Vegas for their parents to renew their vows, and birthday parties. The parents would post their trips and celebrations on social media like any other ordinary family, but they were anything but ordinary. They were all dressed the same when they went out for “safety purposes” from what the family told investigators so as not to lose any of the children. The children also had the same haircuts as their parents, with the boys having the same bowl cut as their dad.The Turpin’s would tell their family members that the older children were staying with them to help take care of the younger children so the family just accepted it and never thought anything was wrong.
Over 106,000 dollars have been raised to help the children have a better life and the 6 younger children will be placed in foster homes for the time being,but the adults will now have to live in the real world for the first time in their lives. Their lives will forever be changed now that they finally all have what they want, which is their freedom to live the life they were always meant to live.